Resumes (curriculum vitae, or CV) are quintessential to quickly and succinctly letting employers know what you’ve done over your working years. For most of us, trimming ourselves down to fit onto one sheet is a daunting task for many reasons. Maybe you can’t think of anything any employer would like to hear. Maybe you have so much that you can’t reasonably trim it down. Maybe you can’t get the wording just right. Maybe you don’t know how to design a slim and sleek resume that will catch recruiters’ attention. That’s fine; you’ve come to Fotor where we can help you tackle all these problems and come out the other side with a polished resume.
Critical Information: What to Include
- Contact Information
Remember that recruiters will spend AT MOST 7 seconds looking at your resume. That’s right. 7. Mere. Seconds. That means you better put the information where they can easily spot it. At the top of the page you should put your most current contact information:
- Phone number
- Email address
- LinkedIn/Facebook/social media account
Recruiters should be able to find you whichever way is most suitable to them. Some may prefer phone calls, some emails, some social media. It’s up to you to give them as many different channels as you can to contact you. I’ve received offers from people who like to call, from others who liked email, and others who found me on LinkedIn. More channels mean more ways to be found; include them.
- Education, Does It Matter?
The Education section is tricky. While I still include mine on my resume, after being out of school for so long, I feel that it really is just wasting space. After close to 7 years of industry experience, my middle-of-the-road bachelor’s degree feels less suited than my experience at major companies like Huawei or Apple pop much more on the page. If you graduated from an elite college or university, it’s much more worth it. If you’ve just graduated, same thing; keep it on the page. However, don’t think that your school has a concrete space on your resume, especially in an age where changing jobs every two years is becoming the norm. Speaking of many jobs…
- How Should I Organize My Work Experience?
Before, when people would work most of their careers in just a few companies, writing a chronological resume was much easier, but now it can be much harder. You should write a chronological resume when, from most recent to oldest when:
- You have minimal experience
- You have few jobs
- Your older work experience isn’t relevant
That kind of work experience is becoming less and less common, which means we need to get a bit creative about how we list our experience on our resume. The other method is a functional resume, which is where you list your most relevant work experience from most important to least. This one can be a bit harder because ranking the most important can be a bit difficult depending on a number of factors. The factors I always consider when ordering my most relevant work experience is:
- Length of contract
One thing to remember as well is that be specific with your achievements. Use numbers to showcase your success because some people may overestimate your skills, which will put you in a bad position when you start, or underestimate you, which means you’ll miss out on some queries from recruiters. Don’t make them guess. Give them the exact figures. It will get you more calls than not.
- Should You Include References?
References are always a good thing to include on your resume because they can speak more to your character and attitude in the office. Mine are always available upon request, but including them right off the bat shows confidence in your previous posts and your work while there.
Skills are a great way to pad an otherwise less robust resume, showing that you took the time to improve yourself outside of your general post. Things like foreign languages, computer languages, and programs are great ways to help whoever is reading your resume to get a better idea of who you are.
Formatting for 7 Seconds
Now one of the biggest problems that can get your resume into the delete folder faster than a string of curse words that would make a sailor proud is disorganized formatting. Recruiters want everything in neat packages that make it really easy to unbox. If you make it harder to get to the goodies on your resume than those all plastic containers at the supermarket, you won’t get too many callbacks. What does that mean then? Well, what you need are:
- Simple Headers
- Dividers between sections and separate information
- Bullet points (not too many!)
- Bold, Italics, and Underline to separate different information.
Here’s an example of what I mean:
One of Fotor’s templates here does an excellent job of dividing different information. This is a basic format that you should be looking for when dividing information and keeping it legible. It is an excellent example of what a recruiter is looking for as far as readability is concerned.
- How Much Is Too Much?
One thing to realize if you want to make a functional resume is that you need to keep it short and sweet. It can be hard sometimes to remove one job, but if it’s basically a rehash of another job you’ve had at a more prominent company or one you worked at for longer, you should probably save the space for something that showcases a different facet of your skillset.
Bullet points should be limited to 2-3 per entry. It’s ok to have something that is longer than one line. It’s better than dividing it into multiple bullet points, which can lose the consistency and clarity that one sentence could bring.
How to express what you have done can be difficult as well. Use the appropriate verbs, adjectives, and phrases in your resume to word your accomplishments and responsibilities at your different occupations.
Don’t make it too complicated. You need to maintain readability. If it looks like you just opened a thesaurus and put down all the big words, they’ll take it as disingenuous, and you’ll soon find yourself on the trash heap. Use them accentuate your natural writing, not disguise it.
Design a Professional Resume with Fotor
Now, let’s go on over to fotor.com and see how we can use the site to make a resume that will wow those recruiters and get you some callbacks.
I decided to go with this template. It’s simple and easy to update into a more robust final resume.
The first thing I’m going to do is remove the profile and put my contact information at the top. I don’t want it to be too far from my name. So, I adjusted it like this:
You can move the line by holding and dragging it up and down. Next, I want to put my experience because that’s what they want to see next, for sure. I’ll use one job to give you an idea of what it should look like.
Here you can see how you can divide up the information to make it easy to read and move through the information line by line.
Next, I’d add in the education and then the references to round out the resume. You still have room on the bottom, a perfect place to add in skills, like which programs complement the job you’re looking to get.
It’s a snap to make resumes with Fotor’s templates. Now get out there and seize those opportunities presented to you!